Homelessness

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Does Poverty Explain Evictions?

There is a dominant public perception that housing evictions are primarily driven by economic factors. As the narrative goes, a tenant is struggling financially, can’t pay rent, and is forced to leave their home. In fact, the analysis finds a negative, albeit weak, correlation between rates of poverty and homelessness. Read More ›
Silhouette of a man in an old uninhabitable house in front of a window. Depression, loneliness, despair, decline, sadness concept.
Silhouette of a man in an old uninhabitable house in front of a window. Depression, loneliness, despair, decline, sadness concept.
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Housing First Doesn’t Work

In a classic attempt to bury embarrassing data, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its most recent annual homelessness Point-in-Time Count report on a Friday, shortly before the Christmas break, about 11 months after the counting was done. Try as it might, HUD is unable to hide the problem anymore because the increases are so high. Read More ›
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Go West, Children: How Charles Brace Placed Orphans in Families

Last week I wrote about how Charles Brace set up homes for homeless children but did not see institutionalization as ideal. He wondered whether it was possible to find thousands of families willing to take responsibility for the children of the streets. The problem seemed enormous. Brace wrote: "How were places to be found? . . . And when the children were placed, how were their interests to be watched over, and acts of oppression or hard dealing prevented or punished?" Read More ›
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Listen to the First Episode of the Restorations Podcast with Billy Baldwin and Robert Marbut Discussing Addiction and Homelessness Policy

I'm joined on my very first episode by actor Billy Baldwin and Discovery Senior Fellow and homelessness expert Robert Marbut. We talk about their upcoming documentary (Americans With No Address), our experience doing outreach on the streets of Seattle, and why the right and left have every reason to find common ground on homelessness, addiction, and untreated mental illness. Read More ›
In 1789 a charming five year old chimney sweep toiled through tough days in the bustling streets embodying the spirit of a spirited eighteenth century street urchin
In 1789 a charming five year old chimney sweep toiled through tough days in the bustling streets embodying the spirit of a spirited eighteenth century street urchin
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Caring for Orphans in New York City

Two columns ago I mentioned Charles Brace's concern about high rents in New York City. When Brace founded the New York Children's Aid Society in 1853, he began by setting up religious meetings aimed at orphaned or abandoned boys from 10 to 18 who slept in alleys. Read More ›
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Billy Baldwin Witnesses Seattle’s Homelessness Crisis

Discovery Institute is going Hollywood! Our Senior Fellow Dr. Robert Marbut teamed up with film producer Robert Craig and actor Billy Baldwin to make "Americans With No Address," one of the most important documentaries highlighting the nation's homeless crisis. We Heart Seattle's Andrea Suarez is also a key voice in the movie. Some of the cast members recently took a tour of Seattle. Read More ›
A pioneer family on the frontier, amidst a vast prairie, setting up their homestead, gazes towards a hopeful horizon.
A pioneer family on the frontier, amidst a vast prairie, setting up their homestead, gazes towards a hopeful horizon.
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Go West, Young Man (and Woman) | Fix Homelessness

We often think westward migration was for males only. In 1862 the Homestead Act allowed land claims from “any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years.” Women, including those widowed by the Civil War, made one third of all homestead claims. Some men and women who made it to the Midwest and went no further became homeless. Read More ›
Manhattan Midtown Skyline with illuminated skyscrapers at sunset
Manhattan Midtown Skyline with illuminated skyscrapers at sunset. NYC, USA

Helping the Manhattan Poor: A History

Much of what we hear in national media concerning homelessness originates in the salons of Manhattan, and if we want to understand why our policy savants sometimes go far off course, we should understand the history of New York City’s successes and failures. Read More ›
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The Ups and Downs of Recovery at The Forge

The past two months I've written about those making progress at Forge, the Christian shelter I lived at in Joplin, Missouri. But not everyone perseveres. I played disc golf on a sunny day last October with one Forge resident who told me how he had become a devotee of YouTube Satanist channels. For a time, he combined demonic rituals, drug use, and increasingly elaborate drawings of skulls and skeletons. Read More ›